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ALBC Town Hall - Atlanta, GA




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Jamie Graves

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Atlanta Town Hall to Commemorate Lincoln Bicentennial, Explore the Impact of Race on Atlanta Region

An esteemed panel of education, community and civil rights leaders will participate in “Unfinished Work: Race, Civility and Equality of Opportunity,” a town hall meeting that will explore the impact of race relations in the Atlanta region. The town hall will feature a keynote speech by Dr. Stephen L. Carter, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Yale University. An expert in legal and social policy as well as a respected authority on issues of civility and religion, Carter’s non-fiction books have received praise from voices across the political spectrum. Among his nonfiction works are God’s Name in Vain: The Wrongs and Rights of Religion in Politics; Civility: Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy; The Dissent of the Governed: A Meditation on Law, Religion, and Loyalty; The Confirmation Mess: Cleaning up the Federal Appointments Process; and The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion. His first novel, The Emperor of Ocean Park, spent eleven weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. His novel Jericho’s Fall was published this year.

The free public town hall event will also feature a lively panel discussion and is part of a weeklong celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, sponsored by the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. It is also the beginning of a series of conversations that will take place across Atlanta about race.                                                                                                             

Hosted by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Foundation along with several Atlanta area community organizations, the Atlanta town hall is one of eleven town hall meetings being held across the country under the broad theme of “Lincoln’s Legacy: Race, Freedom and Equality of Opportunity.” Inspired by Abraham Lincoln’s efforts to build an equal opportunity society, the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission’s Lincoln Legacy Town Hall Meeting series seeks to build mutual understanding about differing perspectives on race and ethnicity and provide an opportunity to re-examine what it means to be American in the 21st century. Local sponsors of this event include the Georgia Humanities Council, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, Morehouse College, ARC Media and the Transforming Community Project of Emory University.             

Keynote:  Dr. Stephen L. Carter, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law, Yale University; Best-selling author


  • Orville Vernon Burton, author, The Age of Lincoln, Burroughs Professor of Southern History and Culture at Costal Carolina University
  • Jerry Gonzalez, executive director, Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) (panelist)
  • Frank McCloskey, vice president for diversity, Georgia Power Company (panelist)
  • Manisha Sinha, associate professor, Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (panelist)
  • Angela Robinson, broadcast journalist; host, In Contact, Public Broadcasting Atlanta (moderator)


  • Jay Hakes, director, Jimmy Carter Presidential Library
  • Alicia Philipp, president, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
  • Eileen R. Mackevich, executive director, Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission
  • Doug Shipman, executive director, National Center for Civil and Human Rights
  • Jamil Zainaldin, president, Georgia Humanities Council

Wednesday, December 9
5:45 p.m.
Media check-in and pre-set

6:00-8:30 p.m.
Town Hall Meeting

Brief media availability with panelists and event organizers

The Carter Center,
Cecil B. Day Chape
l453 Freedom Pkwy NE,
Atlanta, GA


The Fetzer Institute of Kalamazoo, Michigan provided a major grant to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Foundation to produce the Lincoln Legacy Town Hall Meetings. Additional funding has been provided by Prudential Financial Inc., The Marjorie Kovler Fund, McCormick Foundation, Motorola Foundation, and Canadian National. Local support for this event has been provided by the Georgia Humanities Council, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, Morehouse College, ARC Media, and the Transforming Community Project – Emory University.

Congress established the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission to plan the nation’s celebration of the 16th president’s 200th birthday in 2009.  The Commission works to engage the broadest range of individuals and groups in the commemoration.  Through education programs, public forums, and the arts, the Commission provides an opportunity to re-examine Lincoln’s legacy in our 21st century democracy.  Its members, who are appointed by the president and congressional leaders, include political leaders, jurists, historians and collectors. 

The mission of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission Foundation which was established in 2007 is to continue and build upon the work begun by the ALBC:  to educate the public about Lincoln; to serve as an honest broker in building collaborations; and to foster civic engagement grounded in Lincoln’s ideals of freedom, democracy, and equality of opportunity as a guide.